Copyright

Literary Agent: Job Duties, Salary and Outlook

Literary agents represent authors to publishers. Agents may specialize in a literary genre or types of writers. These professionals establish and maintain relationships with publishers and clients. Read on to learn more.

View 9 Popular Schools »

Job Duties for a Literary Agent

A literary agent functions as a conduit between an author and a publisher. These professionals review book manuscripts, provide feedback to authors, and negotiate business deals between authors and publishers. This may include overseeing licensing agreements, working to protect the author's interests, monitoring royalty rights, and ensuring that the author is receiving a fair portion of the book's profits.

Literary agents may sit down and discuss goals and plans when first meeting new clients. Agents may then begin promoting their client while also searching their lists of contacts and other sources to find the best fitting publisher. This requires agents to have a good sense of what is marketable to which publishers and how to help authors edit their work in a way that makes it more likely to sell. Once they forge a deal with a publisher, agents also advise authors on the terms of their contracts.

Literary agents devote time to cultivating relationships with publishing houses so that they may do business in the future. To do so, literary agents may join professional organizations like the Association of Authors' Representatives (AAR) that puts publishers, agents, and authors in touch (www.aaronline.org).

Salary for a Literary Agent

Literary agents work on commission rather than being paid a salary, so their annual incomes are based on the number and size of contracts that they broker between writers and publishers, and whether those contracts are for domestic, foreign, or subsidiary rights. The AAR code of ethics prohibits agents from charging reading or evaluation fees in addition to the commissions on sales. Most commonly, agents earn 10-15% of domestic sales, though some experienced agents with successful track records may be able to contract for up to 20%, according to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (www.sfwa.org). Commissions earned for foreign sales range from 20-30%.

Outlook for a Literary Agent

Literary agents are a small component of the publishing industry and likely to remain so, according to the College Foundation of North Carolina (www.cfnc.org). Changes in the literary publishing industry, such as digital books and self-publishing authors, may influence future demand for agents. Agents may start off as interns in a large agency before becoming independent.

Show me popular schools

Related to Literary Agent: Job Duties, Salary and Outlook

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Readers Are Made, Not Born: Kerri Smith Majors Details Her Innovative Literary Journal for Education-Portal.com

The National Book Foundation recently announced the 2011 winners of their Innovations in Reading Prize, an award that...

Free Online Literary Theory Courses: Where Can I Find Them?

Free online courses in literary theory are offered by real schools. Find out which literary theory courses are available and...

Top Colleges for Literary Studies: Program and School Information

Read about literary studies programs, which typically include the examination of literature from various time periods and...

Express Yourself: Celebrate National Poetry Month

O Captain! My Captain! April is National Poetry Month. Established in 1996, the occasion represents an opportunity for poets...

Fiction Squared: Great Books Starring Great Books

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's degree
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Undergraduate applicants must be a high school graduate or have completed GED and completed some college. Master's degree applicants must have a bachelor's or higher.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Distance Learning Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BFA in Illustration - Children`s Book Illustration

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Minnesota (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Associate
        • Associate - Radio Broadcasting

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Rochester Institute of Technology include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • American Sign Language - ASL
      • Communication Studies
      • Communication Technology
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Graphic Communications
      • Public Relations and Advertising
      • Publishing

Popular Schools

  • What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • BFA in Illustration - Children`s Book Illustration

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Which subject are you interested in?

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics